Most radishes are grown for their edible roots, which may be mild or pungent and are eaten raw or cooked in a variety of cuisines. The seed pods of radishes are also edible, and one family of radishes - Raphanas caudatus, often called "rat-tailed radishes" - is grown especially for its seed pods. These are a fascinating garden plant, and enjoyed a notable vogue during the 19th century. They have a pungent radish flavor when eaten raw or lightly cooked, and grow milder the longer they are cooked.
Things You'll Need
- Radish pods
- Paper towel
Rinse the radish pods under cold running water in a colander. Allow the pods to drain for five minutes, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Pinch off the stem ends, if woody.
Add the radish pods raw to salads or plates of fresh vegetables for dipping. They have a fresh, pungent radish flavor with a distinct heat, but with more complexity than a conventional radish. They make an excellent foil for strongly flavored greens and vinaigrettes, and also complement strong cheeses such as feta or goat.
Steam the pods lightly as a side dish, or boll them in a pot of salted water. Steamed pods will retain more pungent radish heat than boiled pods, but both will mellow as they are cooked longer. Serve warm with butter or cold with olive oil and lemon or a light vinaigrette.
Stir-fry the pods on their own as a side dish, or add them to your favorite Asian stir-fry or pad Thai. The pods retain much of their pungency when lightly cooked, making them an alternative to mild chilies in many dishes.
Tips & Warnings
- Pick the seed pods as soon as they fill out, but before they become dry and leathery. The seeds may be shucked from mature pods and eaten separately. The mature seeds are very strong, and should be boiled or steamed to moderate their flavor. They may be added to a dish of boiled or steamed peas for an interesting flavor combination.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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